An ambitious new strategy outlining a partnership approach to preventing harm caused by alcohol and drug use in our communities, and in supporting recovery from drug and alcohol dependence was launched today (7th February) by MSP Fergus Ewing.
The Edinburgh Alcohol and Drug Partnership (EADP) strategy provides a clear framework for planning and developing local services for the people of Edinburgh and hopes to make the Capital a better and safer place to live, work and visit.
Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing, who launched the strategy today, said: “I look forward to learning more about the progress Edinburgh ADP are making and congratulate members on the realisation of their new strategy. The Scottish Government are providing £28.6 million to Health Boards for frontline drug services in 2010/11, this represents an increase of over 20% since 2006/07. Funding will be maintained at 2010/11 levels in 2011/12, subject to Parliamentary approval.”
“However, local people are best placed to understand the needs of their own community and I am looking forward to hearing Edinburgh ADP’s strategy for helping people on their road to recovery.”
Nick Smith, Joint Programme Manager, EADP, said: “Substance misuse affects many people across Edinburgh. For some this is direct and personal, whilst for others the effects can be more general.
“The new strategy will enable organisations to have a common approach to addressing the problems caused by alcohol and drugs.
“With recovery at the heart of the new strategy, we hope it will make a real difference to the lives of many people in Edinburgh.”
The strategy aims to help more people like Caroline Hillen, 45, who shared her recovery story at the launch.
The strategy “A framework for partnership action” sets out how the national strategies will be implemented at a local level through three key outcomes:
- reduce the damage caused by alcohol and drugs to individuals, families and communities
- make communities safer
- increase the numbers of people who achieve sustained recovery.
The strategy has been developed by NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Borders Police and the voluntary sector.
Notes to Editors
- The strategy was launched at Lothian Chambers in Edinburgh.
- A copy of the Drug Strategy can be found at www.edinburghadp.co.uk
- EADP is a partnership organisation between the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Lothian and Borders Police and the Voluntary Sector.
Case Study Details
Caroline Hillen, 45-years-old, is a single mother of three, with two daughters living at home, (aged 17 years and 9 years). She was born and raised in Edinburgh and has been resident in Craigmillar for the past 11 years.
Her drug dependency started with “slimming tablets” prescribed by G.P. when Caroline was 12-years-old and in her late teens sedative tablets were subsequently prescribed when Caroline endured an abusive relationship.
The catalyst for Caroline’s commitment to giving up all subsequent drug and methadone use came with the death of her mother in early 2009.
However, until July 2010 Caroline struggled with an overwhelming sense of loss; she “didn’t know who she was”. Being completely drug-free can cause heightened sensitivity of all senses, so everyday experiences become distressing because they feel too intense. She felt so terrible that sometimes she even wondered whether giving up drugs had been worth it.
Finally she admitted how bad she felt and was referred to the Keep Well Project and the Drug Referral Team, a City of Edinburgh Council, Health and Social Care team of social workers with a variety of specialist knowledge.
Caroline also began attending a range of educational courses, including a 10 week “Extreme Makeover” course, run by Access to Industry. At first Caroline was unsure but soon realised that the “makeover” was more about her spirit, self-confidence and self-esteem than nail polish.
Caroline’s commitment to the course gained her a place on the follow-on course “Access: Beauty” based partly at Jewel & Esk College. Caroline started the course in February.
In December Caroline joined the Women’s Group within Edinburgh’s lively Serenity Café. The Serenity Café offers opportunities to celebrate recovery from substance dependency at drug and alcohol-free events.
Caroline now describes her brain as a “sponge desperate to learn stuff”. She now has self-confidence and self-esteem where she had none. She feels she knows who she is, where she wants to go and how she plans to get there; she sees a future for herself.
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